Miami is one of the most popular cities in the world for cruise ships to depart from. It is a well-known vacation destination in its own right, and its coastal location in South Florida has been the port of departure for cruise ship destinations like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cozumel and the Cayman Islands. The cruise ship industry has experienced tremendous growth in the last two decades, and unfortunately, that growth has been accompanied by a slew of legal issues. From problems such as norovirus, loss of power, and mechanical failures, cruise lines have been the target of a plethora of lawsuits in recent years.
If you or someone you love have suffered harm due to the negligence of a cruise line, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. Filing a personal injury claim against a major cruise line can be an intimidating process, especially when you are still healing from your injuries. Let Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA handle your legal troubles so that you can receive the just compensation you deserve.
Common Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries
A lot can go wrong on a ship that weighs over 100,000 tons, carries several thousand passengers, and is stuck in the middle of the ocean. Passengers going missing, viruses spreading like wildfire, and inclement weather are just a few things that can turn a beautiful vacation into a full-blown nightmare. Some of the most common accidents and injuries suffered by cruise ship passengers include:
- Slip and falls
- Food poisoning
- Sexual assault by crew members and other passengers
- Chemical injuries
- Swimming pool accidents and drowning
- Bed bug injuries
- Legionnaire’s Disease
- Head trauma
- Medical malpractice
Liability for Cruise Ship Injuries
As common carriers, cruise lines owe their passengers a higher than normal duty of reasonable care. If a passenger is injured due to the negligence or carelessness of a cruise line or its crew members, he or she might be entitled to damages for injuries suffered. Below is a list of parties who may be held liable for injuries suffered by passengers aboard a cruise ship:
- Ticketing agency
- Charter company
- Cruise ship owner
- Cruise line
- Liable third parties
When a passenger suffers injuries aboard a cruise ship, the most common way of seeking compensation for damages is to file a personal injury claim based on a theory of negligence. There are three essential elements of negligence that must be proven in order for a court to hold a party liable for injuries suffered on a cruise ship. These elements are:
- The cruise line owed a legal duty of care to its passengers;
- The cruise line breached this legal duty of care; and
- As a result of the breach, passengers suffered damages
Passengers who are harmed on a cruise ship may receive compensatory damages for their injuries. Some of these include:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Present and future lost earnings
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Household services
- Wrongful death damages
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Statute of Limitations and Forum Selection Clauses
It is of the utmost importance for individuals who were injured due to the negligence of a cruise line to re-read the terms and conditions of their cruise ticket. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Florida is four years. Nevertheless, most cruise ship tickets have a provision that allows only one year from the time of the incident for personal injury claims to be filed.
The cruise line might also contain a forum selection clause. Forum selection clauses specify which jurisdiction a lawsuit must be filed in. Many times, a cruise line will state on its contract that lawsuits must be filed in federal court, or they will specify that a claim may only be filed in the State of Florida. Passengers who are not from Florida often find themselves in a difficult predicament when they are injured and have to travel a far distance to litigate their case. These injured passengers should seek the guidance of a Florida personal injury attorney who is familiar with federal and maritime law and can litigate their case efficiently so they can save time and money on travel costs.
Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer
Cruise lines often skate by lawsuits by justifying the unfair conditions written in fine print on their contracts. This is why it is so important for passengers who have been injured on cruise ships to contact a personal injury attorney right away. One year is not a long time to file a claim, especially when you are still trying to get back on your feet and back to work after an injury.
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA take pride in litigating cruise ship accident cases in an efficient and organized manner. Wasted time can result in less compensation received. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami cruise ship accident attorney who will fight efficiently and aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.